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1. One of several narrow external openings connecting with the pharynx, characteristic of sharks and related fishes, through which water passes to the exterior, thereby bathing the gills. Also called branchial cleft, gill cleft.
2. Embryology One of several rudimentary invaginations in the surface of the embryo, present during development of all air-breathing vertebrates and corresponding to the functional gill slits of aquatic species. Also called branchial cleft, branchial groove, pharyngeal cleft, pharyngeal groove.
(Zoology) any of a series of paired linear openings to the exterior from the sides of the pharynx in fishes and some amphibians. They contain the gills
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|Noun||1.||gill slit - one of a series of slit openings in the pharynxes of fishes and aquatic amphibians through which water passes|